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Monday 20 August 2018

Dumb and Dumber ad shows Today FM's stuck in the Dark Ages

You can almost hear the Advertising Standards Authority rolling up their sleeves, stocking up on coffee, and telling their loved ones that they'll be home late.

All in anticipation of the fallout from a press ad that appeared this week, namely Today FM's promotion of its new presenters, Dermot and Dave, who started their lunchtime show this week.

For the lucky ones that missed it, here's a description of the ad.

It features a large yellow bra, with the faces of each presenter super-imposed on the cups, bearing the headline "We've a right pair starting today," before proudly announcing the arrival of "Dermot & Dave. 12pm. Weekdays."

moronic

Presumably, the station will defend the campaign as reflecting the irreverent banter that is the hallmark of this duo, with the offending headline being no more than a tongue-in-cheek remark that will strike a chord with their average listener.

Which is probably very accurate, as long as their average listener is a spotty, moronic 15-year-old schoolboy - about the only demographic that could possibly find this advert funny.

What is extraordinary is that such Benny Hill-type humour would be used to promote a station which features, just before Dermot and Dave go on air, two of Ireland's most skilled radio presenters - Ian Dempsey and Ray D'Arcy - both of whom have large female audiences.

Quite what they, and the highly-respected Matt Cooper, make of this infantile, insulting ad being used to promote their station is an interesting question.

Of course, It's not just the crass, Neanderthal tone of the ad that is so offensive.

What is truly breathtaking is that such a sexist ad should be run at a time when concerns are being raised about the lack of female voices on Irish radio, with Today FM just about the worst offender in this regard.

With grotesque irony, the reason for this imbalance is that Dumb and Dumber, aka Dermot and Dave, are direct replacements for Louise Duffy, who has been pushed out to a less high-profile role.

inequality

It's one thing for a radio station not to do anything about its gender inequality. It's quite another for that same station to actually make fun of it.

And it beggars belief that it occurred to nobody in the stations marketing department that the removal of the final woman from their headline schedule might not be best announced with a joke about boobs.

Today FM?

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